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Sautéed brussels sprouts with bacon and almonds

 

When I was a child I was considered one of the ‘weird kids’ for many reasons.  I was always on time, I liked my teachers, I loved sports and I ate things that other kids wouldn’t even look at.  Things like lambs fry, cabbage and brussels sprouts were often a part of my meals.  Mum was very good at incorporating the unusual into our diets and always encouraged us to try things at least once before we said we didn’t like it.  We were also very fortunate that our Grandpa grew most of the vegetables for us.  He used to tend a large plot of land on a daily basis to keep us all supplied with the freshest food possible.  One of my favourite things to do was pick baby carrots from the ground, wash them under his garden tap and chew on them likes bugs bunny while following him around the garden.

Now, as an adult, these are the ingredients that I source when they are in season and at their best.  Luckily for me it is time for sprouts.    My recent purchase of the August/September issue of dish magazine happened to coincide with the season and is where I found this simple and delicious recipe.  You will find the other recipes that I have made from this particular issue in this category.  

If don’t usually like sprouts I encourage you to try this recipe.  G is not a big fan of sprouts but loved this dish and upon giving me his score he reminded me that “everything tastes better with bacon”.

sautéed brussels sprouts with bacon and almonds (recipe from August/September 2010 issue of dish magazine)
serves 4 as a side dish

Ingredients
500g (1 lb) firm Brussels sprouts 
small knob of butter 
100g (¼ lb) bacon, thinly sliced   
2 spring onions, thinly sliced 
2 cloves of garlic, crushed 
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Preparation
Trim the edges of the sprouts, remove any tatty leaves and slice ½ cm thick pieces.  Blanch in boiling salted water for 2 minutes.  Drain well.

Heat the butter in a sauté pan and cook the bacon, spring onions, garlic and almonds until lightly golden.  Add the sprouts, season well and cook over a high heat for 3 – 4 minutes, tossing to combine.  Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately.

My tips/alterations:  *I used the same pan to blanch the sprouts and to sauté the ingredients.  While preparing the sprouts I boiled the water, then while cutting the other ingredients I melted the butter in the pan.  This saves time because the pan is already warm when you want to sauté and washing up because you only use one pan.   *Blanching is simply means to plunge foods into boiling water for a few seconds or a few minutes, then remove and place in ice water. This process sets the colour of vegetables, lets you easily peel fruits, and slip the skins off nuts.  The food does not cook all the way through, so crisp texture is preserved.  This recipe didn’t mention the ice water and I didn’t do that part of the process either.  *I cooked all the ingredients together for about 5 – 6 minutes as I felt they were not done enough in the time recommended.

 

ease: 9/10.  This is almost a simple sauté. 
prep time: 10mins.  
cooking time: 10mins.
total: 20mins.         

taste: 9.5/10.  Surprise, surprise, this score came from G, the non sprout fan of the family.  We both hoovered this from our bowls.  The flavours and textures were all well balanced and we just wished for a bigger bowl. 

Love them or hate them, try this recipe.     

would I make it again:  Absolutely!  In fact, I have already bought more sprouts this so I can.

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